NATURE’S MEDICINE FOR A HEALTHY FAMILY
The Importance Of Nature In Our Lives
Does the thought of a child being outdoors, exposed to the natural world; depressed, overweight, and disconnected from reality, frighten you?
Although many of us would prefer not to think about the possibilities of what could happen to children outside the safety of their home, the risk for their future health and the health of our planet is much greater if children stay indoors and avoid the possible dangers from the natural world.
As leaders in our community we must not forget the powerful medicine that nature provides each of us on a daily basis, and how we can reintegrate this power into the lives of our children, families and communities. It has been proven that nature is not just a luxury to be experienced on vacation, but is an essential part of healthy child development and the well-being of every person, regardless of age.
Wired Technology – A Phony Alternative Connection?
As much as we could assume that our world is wired to the internet for good reason, we are genetically wired to feel our best when we are exposed to the natural world and all its wonders, away from the electronics that keep us distracted.
Over the past 3 decades people have become increasingly more connected to each other’s ideas and images through the use of the internet and cellular devices but more disconnected than ever from nature and our place in it. This phenomenon has contributed to the disconnection people feel with their spiritual self. The disconnection from the true self leads to depression, anxiety, and a lack of compassion and understanding for the earth and all creatures. Unfortunately this disconnection affects the choices we make in our daily lives, which affects the future of our existence.
Spiritual Well-Being & The Direct Experience
Nature is the source of spiritual growth. The consequence of cutting ourselves off from this natural source is the real danger that humans face today. Families, with children or not, can all benefit from a stronger connection with nature. We must rekindle the spark of interest that comes naturally to us all from thousands of years of living primarily outdoors, playing and working without modern technology. If we want to know something, we often type a few letters into our Google app and find the short answer. This usually fulfills our immediate desire to know, but the deeper more important sense of true wonder is only satisfied with direct experience.
To see a squirrel collecting acorns for the winter, curiously observing its varied patterns of delightful behavior, physical abilities and how it communicates, leaves a much bigger impression on our mind and spirit than a summarized sentence about the basics about squirrels on a website.
If we choose to keep ourselves indoors, away from nature, we miss out on so many learning experiences, and opportunities to align ourselves with our true self, and as it turns out, we miss the chance to make some of the best memories with our family. We just don’t sit around and recall facts we read on a website when we are older and reminiscing with family. We will more likely recall the time we had a picnic by the ocean and saw an eagle flying through our camp or the way the beauty of the lake at sunset made us feel.
How The Great Outdoors Nurtures Healthy Intra-Family Relationships
It is said that families who spend time in nature together bond in ways that greatly strengthen the entire family dynamics. There is learning, laughing, and love present in the very act of exploring together in nature because people tune in to the natural world, their inner child and innate wildness during such encounters.
1. Stress Relief
In extreme cases of nature deprivation a person could experience nature in complete fear and unhappiness, but it only takes time to find ways to open up more, as nature is the most effective natural relief for stress. Just the acts of breathing fresh air and putting our feet on the earth align us with a higher frequency than the vibrations in a room indoors, stifled by electronic waves and noise pollution.
2. Together, As Individuals
Healthy family relationships are developed with a balance of togetherness and awakened separateness. This means that each member has his or her own sense of well-being when given space to be alone in a safe environment, with the awareness that the family is still spiritually present and caring for them. When the family is spending time together there are various factors that contribute to the relationship strengthening. In addition to learning values, skills and certain behaviors, humor is also important to loosen tension. We can express ourselves in so many ways.
3. Sharing, Harmony & Flow
Everyone has the need to love and be loved. Part of the way we express love for ourselves and others is by sharing activities together and showing gratitude for each other and other parts of our life. When we place our self in nature we are open to the natural flow of love in the world, and we see a healthy reflection of togetherness and separateness in the way nature works. Natureʼs medicine is abundant and naturally increases the ability for families to engage in crucial aspects of any healthy relationship.
In addition to the learning, laughter and love that nature stimulates in us, we are also given opportunities to rise as responsible leaders in our family, our community and the world. We are inspired by the clear awareness that we are all connected. This awareness shifts our perspective and reminds us of the fragility of this precious earth we call home.
We also realize that our family is part of the human family; that we are interdependent on all life. That we may discover this awareness in our daily lives would benefit the social interactions that happen between family members, friendships, and larger communities. Nature helps us appreciate each other’s strengths and understand the weaknesses. Squirrels aren’t the best swimmers but they sure can teach us about planning for the future.
5. The Lessons From Nature
Contact with nature builds loyalty to the earth and all who inhabit it. Whether we are admiring the magnificent elder tree and pondering its history, or seeing the polar bear struggle to survive, we learn about the necessity to stay together and work together to sustain life. We can learn from both failure as well as success.
Our Natural Affinity With Nature & The Earth
On a soul level we yearn for contact with nature. We are innately devoted to the pureness in our hearts, connecting to the elements and the seasons. We flourish when our family recognizes the wholesome real food and medicine nature provides.
Nature’s medicine is not only the food we eat, the fresh water we drink or the herbs we cultivate for healing. Nature’s medicine is the vibrating pulse of spirit within all of us. To enjoy the simple beauty and harmony of nature heals our spirit and awakens us to the potential within each of us.
Make changes in your life, to bring nature back into your family’s awareness. Choose nature every day and watch how your life and the lives of those you love are nurtured. Go outside and open up to the nature that surrounds you. Give thanks for what comes naturally.